This is America? by Sydney Colbert

(Before we start, let’s get straight to it by watching this video here.) This seems to be a question everyone is talking about. Is this the America of today or are we in a period of transition to something different, something better?  Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino released a song and a music video with the same title. The video, which is currently making waves and has people talking is full of symbolism and is full of events that have left a mark on the American landscape over the past 10 years. From his portrayal of Jim Crow pulling a trigger and shooting an African American man with a bag on his head, to the disturbing reenactment of the Charleston Church shooting in 2015, to America’s unhealthy obsession with guns, Gambino highlights a decline in America’s morality and obsession with “Black entertainment “whereby he insinuates that America only likes/enjoys segments of Black culture and entertainment and does not value them as individuals and citizens of the same country. The chaos around him takes place rather discretely in the background of the video while the focus is on him and the children who dance to the beat highlights the above point perfectly.

The questions asked through the symbolism in the video is numerous and wide ranging. After watching it a few times, I have to ask myself, is the video an accurate representation of the current state of things in the US? With the ownership of guns going significantly up in the US, a drastic increase in mass shootings over the last five years, the drastic rise of racial profiling and the singling out of one ethnic group, the video rings true and is a disturbing look into the current state of things. Gambino got people talking which is step one. The song and its video made people pay attention to what is going on around them. The next step is to do something about it. It’s time for people, of all races, to look at what’s going on and take concrete steps to make the United States of America  the shining beacon of hope it once was. Dare I say, it’s time to make America great again!

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